§ 97. Sir E. Keeling
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence how many of the 336 surviving officers who retired under the 1919 scale, and whose retired pay has not been increased since the rates were anchored in 1935 at 9½ per cent. below the 1919 rates, served in the first Great War.
§ 98. Mr. E. Johnson
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence what rate of pension was awarded to an officer retiring with the rank of major in 1922, after 19 years and 10 months' service; and what is the pension such an officer would receive today.
§ Mr. Birch
If the officer had served for five years in the rank of major his retired pay in 1922 would have been £270 a year. Today, such an officer's retired pay would vary between £268 15s. 8d. a year and £330 7s. a year according to his entitlement under the Pensions (Increase) Schemes 1944, 1947 and 1952.
§ 99. Mr. E. Johnson
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence what average pension is received today by officers who retired with the rank of major in 1922, 1932, 1942 and 1952, respectively.
§ Mr. Birch
I regret that I cannot give averages. Majors who retired in 1922 and 1932 now draw not more than £440 a year: those who retired in 1942 not more than £457 10s. a year; and those who retired in 1952 not more than £800 a year. These figures would be increased in the case of officers who retired before the late war but were re-employed during it. The figures do not take into account increases under the Pensions (Increase) Schemes.
§ 101. Sir E. Keeling
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence how the £200,000 which is the cost of restoring in full the 9½ per cent. cut made in 1935 in the retired pay of officers who retired under the 1919 scale, is made up; and whether he will publish a statement setting out, to the nearest 219W convenient figures, the different ranges of retired pay which would be increased, the number of officers in each range who would benefit, and by how much.
§ Mr. Birch
The information which my hon. Friend requires is published below. The figure of £200,000 to which he refers is the estimate of the total amount of the benefits referred to in the statement accompanying the table.
Officers' Retired Pay
The following table sets out the number of officers of the three Services and of the former Indian Armed Services who are in receipt of retired pay under the code in force before 1945 and who would benefit were the corresponding 1919 rates to be substituted for their present service retired pay, including any "automatic" increase they have received under the pensions increase schemes of 1944 and 1947.
It includes cases in which the retired pay has been reassessed for service in the 1939–45 war. In these cases the 1919 rate has been substituted for the pensions (including automatic increase) to which the reassessment element is added.
The figures given in the third column are the approximate average benefit within the group. It will be observed that the majority of the officers would receive relatively little benefit. This is due to the operation of the Pensions (Increase) Schemes of 1944 and 1947.
Range of existing retired pay Number of officers Extent of Benefit According to the circumstances of the case but averaging approximately: £ s. d. Below £400 a year 8,300 1 0 0 a year £400–£600 a year 5,650 9 10 0 a year £600–£800 a year 1,450 29 0 0 a year Over £800 a year 1,150 65 10 0 a year 16,550
§ 102. Mr. Marlowe
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence whether, in view of the widespread interest in the question, he will publish in the Official Report the statement of how many officers of the Armed Forces who retired under the 1919 code are still receiving pensions less than the amount they would have received but for the 1935 stabilisation, excluding for the purposes of this calculation increments earned by additional years of service by those who had retired prior to 1st September, 1939, but rejoined after that date, which information he has under- 220W taken to send to the hon. and learned Member for Hove.
§ Mr. Birch
The answer to the first part of the Question is between 16,000 and 17,000.
As to the second part, exact information could not be given without exhaustive search among the records of the Service Departments. The approximate numbers of each rank are, however, as follows:
(ARMY RANKS AND EQUIVALENTS IN THE OTHER SERVICES) Captain and below 8,100 Major 2,800 Lieut.-Colonel 3,300 Colonel (including captain R.N. and air commodore) 1,600 General officers 750 16,550
§ Mr. Wigg
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence the total number of officers affected by the Government's decision not to improve retired officers' stabilised retired pay, excluding the 359 retired officers for whom a specific increase has recently been refused; the lowest amount of retired pay being drawn by any of these officers; their approximate average age; and the average amount by which they would benefit if the £200,000 per annum, which would be required for the specific increase mentioned, was allocated annually to increase the weekly rates of retired pay.
§ Mr. Birch
The total number of officers concerned is rather over 16,000 and the average age of the British Service officers is about 64. If £200,000 were divided equally among them each would receive a little less than 5s. a week. The lowest normal scale of retired pay among them is £140 a year, though in exceptional circumstances individuals may be receiving considerably less.
§ Brigadier Peto
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence how many retired officers would be affected by the £200,000 per annum mentioned as the approximate cost of restoring the 9½ per cent. cut of 1935.
§ Brigadier Peto
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence the average amounts drawn in pensions annually at existing rates of those retired officers, excluding the 336 who are senior 221W officers and who have suffered a total cut of 9½ per cent.